Tuesday 19 January 2021

Why Mental Health should be our priority in 2021


I had devoted my year 2020 to fitness and by God’s grace after almost a decade came back to near perfect health. Lost around twenty kgs extra weight and fared much better in the chronic ailment(endometriosis) I suffer from. The pandemic times came as a realisation that  a healthy lifestyle can actually aid you so much better in your life not only in terms of sound health and immunity but also your happiness. 

It’s now almost a year that we are all locked indoors and going out only for something that is absolutely essential. Thus physically though I am the happiest, mentally I feel my patience has reached some kind of threshold. Among all my friends and family, I am perhaps the only one who has still not resumed support from domestic helps or has visited a mall and still abiding by all the protocols of COVID. I have realised it requires a lot of mental power too along with physical strength to manage all the mom-wife responsibilities, my work and also the never ending household chores. Thus I feel our mental health must be our top priority in 2021 given the fact that it’s been really long that we are trapped in this situation.

Now, all of us have often talked about securing the mental health of ourselves, our family and our loved ones but lately what has struck me most hard is what about the mental health of the people who work for us. Despite getting their salaries on time, they are sitting idle at home. We are pressed to not call them back to keep them and ourselves safe but for how long? COVID Vaccination Drive in India has just begun. It may take another 6 months for a normal person to get it. What to do in such circumstances?

I worry for their mental health. Let me cite an example. We have a care taker of our home, whom we fondly call Raju Bhaiya. He loves his work and it is such a comfort to have him whole day but we haven’t called him to our place since Mar’20 from when the lockdown happened. So last Friday I called him to meet and also take a little help from him as I was under the weather. Trust me when I say this, he was the happiest to resume his work, I called him for a couple of hours but he didn’t go back the whole day. He kept chatting with me all the time in between completing the little work allotted to him to perfection. His joy knew no bounds and he told me that he is super ready to resume work with full precautions which was more evident from his super active moves. He even made a cup of tea for me and though I don’t have tea or coffee I really have to had him for I knew what it meant to him. Honestly, I too was so happy to have him back even if it was for a day that time.He told me that he needs to work so that he doesn’t get sick and I could really understand what he meant.

When he left I was forced to think. I had seen a similar request in my maali kaka’s eyes to join back. I felt a deep responsibility towards the mental health of these people. In fact securing mental health of all should be our priority in 2021. Sometimes I feel what if we save them from Corona but they fall prey to the vicious clutches of any mental ailment. Though the fear of COVID is mighty and scary with new strains being identified and most parts of Europe going into lockdown again, I guess we need to think strongly on opening up gradually because people who work for us their mental and physical health must be our priority too like that of our family.

Some steps that I can suggest in this regard are:

  • Call them for work for at least few hours each day
  • Let them come and change into clean clothes and use sanitisers and masks religiously 
  • Designate their tools and mops and brooms to be used only by them
  • Ask them to maintain hygiene at all occasions 
  • Be kind to them 
  • Be masked and give them a comforting talk for few minutes whenever you can
  • Ask about the well-being of their children and family, send some gifts on occasions 
  • Let them feel they are a part of your family and all these safety measures are being taken in the best interest of them
  • At all times feel responsible for their mental and physical health, they are not as educated as you are, so they need your help on these testing times.

I am sure with their joining back, you will support your own sound mental health too along with theirs because most of us may not be that used to handling the diverse gamete of jobs we are at the moment. 2021 undoubtedly is the year when our strong mental health must be our priority in every which way. Do you agree? Will love to read your thoughts on this.

This post is part of Blogchatter's CauseAChatter'

Truly Yours Roma

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